“Mr Wilson could not be contacted..”

The last time Belfast City Council wanted to keep the Big Wheel turning at Belfast City Hall they told the Northern Ireland Environment Agency, who objected to the application, that they hoped it would only stay there until August this year. Now they apparently want to keep it there until at least September 2011.. and the wheel’s owners, World Tourist Attractions, claim that the NI Environment Minister, the DUP’s Sammy Wilson, supports them.. From the BBC report

They quoted [Sammy Wilson] as being “appalled” that part of one of his department’s organisations wanted the structure removed. Mr Wilson could not be contacted by the BBC through his department or the DUP.

However, a letter from World Tourist Attractions to Belfast City Council, released on Friday and dated 1 May, quoted Mr Wilson as stating: “There should be a huge lobby on this issue to ensure the planners come to the right decision.”

Of course lobbying, and briefing against, his own departmental officials is nothing new for the current NI Environment Minister..